Last year, I decided to start fishing. I’m not really sure why, but something within me kept calling me to fish. Much to my surprise, my wife felt the same way. So we went out and bought fishing poles and lures. We’ve even spent some time doing research.
As of this writing, our calling has yet to produce a reward. We have yet to catch a meal, but it doesn’t depress us. We’re just happy to catch anything. I imagine it would be different if our lives depended up on what we caught.
In today’s lesson, Jesus asks some fisherman to put out their boats one more time. They have been out all night and have come home empty handed. Unlike me, fishing is their job. A profession passed on for generations. It had to be frustrating to come home without any fish.
At first, Jesus only wants to go out a short distance so he could teach. Then he asks to go out into the deep water. To drop the nets, they had just been cleaned. To fish during the worst possible hours to fish. To work in the sun, when the fishermen were already tired and worn.
In this story, there is an immediate reward for following Jesus. I always desire the same kind of immediate reward. However, the blessing was not as immediate as it seems. Before any benefit was received, the fisherman had to reload the large, bulky nets back into the boat. They had to take Jesus out to hear him teach. I doubt it was a 5-minute lesson. Then they had to row out into the deep water and unload the nets. These things are both time consuming and physically draining. When you read the story it seems so effortless.
Yesterday was one of those days where all I could see were the problems. It was difficult to hear the question presented to me this morning. “Can I be more open to God and think of the possibilities in my life instead of the problems?” It reminded me, God showing us possibilities in the midst of problems is the source of our greatest joys. (Luke 5: 1-11)